New data reveal extent of genetic overlap between major mental disorders – gwas study**: “[T]he overlap was highest between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; moderate for bipolar disorder and depression and for ADHD and depression; and low between schizophrenia and autism. Overall, common genetic variation accounted for 17-28 percent of risk for the illnesses.” (**that’s redundant, isn’t it? sorry.)
Common genes may underlie alcohol dependence, eating disorders – “In a study of nearly 6,000 adult twins, researchers found that common genetic factors seemed to underlie both alcoholism and certain eating disorder symptoms—namely, binge eating and purging habits, such as self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse. Genes appeared to explain 38 percent to 53 percent of the risk of developing those disorders.”
As Humans Change Landscape, Brains of Some Animals Change, Too – “A new study suggests that the brains of several small mammals, including those of the little brown bat, have grown bigger as humans have altered the animals’ living conditions.” – ruh roh.
African genes tracked back – “[The researchers] saw signs reflecting two waves of migration: one about 3,000 years ago, of non-Africans entering east Africa, and a second one 900–1,800 years ago, as east Africans migrated to southern Africa and brought non-African genes along with them…. Because of this two-step migration, some Khoe-San groups who were thought to have been genetically quite isolated actually carry 1–5% non-African DNA….”
Genetic Research Suggests Indian Caste System Began 1,900 Years Ago – h/t david pinsen! – and speaking of castes: Caste outside of India: black blacksmiths from steve sailer.
Handaxe design reveals distinct Neanderthal cultures – “Two cultural traditions existed among Neanderthals living in what is now northern Europe between 115,000 to 35,000 years ago…. [T]wo separate handaxe traditions or designs existed – one in a region now spanning south-western France and Britain – the other in Germany and further to the East.”
The Behavioral Ecology of Chimpanzee War and Liberal Peace – “[V]iolent aggression among humans and chimps is a flexible natural propensity that tends to be stronger in males than in females, and the expression of that propensity depends on the social circumstances that determine the relative costs and benefits of violent fighting.” – @darwinian conservatism.
Breast feeding, intelligence, and confounded researchers – from dr. james thompson.
Babies learn words before birth – “Brain responses suggest infants can distinguish distinct sounds from altered versions.”
Women and eye color – “There is…a sex difference, with women having a more diverse palette of eye colors.” – from peter frost.
How Personality Affects Fertility: Men’s and Women’s Personalities Linked to Likelihood That They Will Have Children – “Men with neurotic personality traits are having fewer children compared to previous generations…. It also found that men who are extraverted and open tend to have more children, while women who rank as conscientious on personality tests tend to have fewer children, although these findings were constant across generations.” – study done in norway. – via hbd bibliography.
There is no hope of democracy in the Middle East – “Most people, in other times and other places, have lived in societies more like Game of Thrones than Borgen, clannish rather than democratic, where people feel their loyalty and duty is towards other members of their extended family or religious community. To get people to work in the best interests of strangers so that you accept their authority when they get more people into the polling booth than you, is an achievement, not a natural state…. Egypt is an ancient civilisation but it is a clannish society….” – from ed west. (^_^) see also: Ed West interview: debating the ‘illusions’ of a diverse society.
Whence Afro criminality? – @thosewhocansee.
Steven Pinker, Science, and “Scientism” – “In reality, the issue here is not whether this imaginary ‘science’ object exists and, assuming it does, whether it is ‘good’ or ‘evil.’ It is about whether we should be empowered to learn things about the universe in which we live or not. The opponents of ‘scientism’ typically rail against such things as eugenics, Social Darwinism, and the atomic bomb. These are supposedly the creations of the ‘science’ object. But, in fact, they are no such thing.” – really good stuff @helian unbound. via hbd bibliography. also from h.u. (he’s on a roll this week): Of Ingroups, Outgroups and Ideology.
The Arab Spring has failed because constitutional democracy needs nation-states – via ed west. see also: Egyptian Mirages from thomas sowell – “However widespread the desire to be free, it is wholly different from a desire to live in a society where others are free.” – yup.
How the light gets out – re. consciousness: “…the attention schema theory. It says that awareness is not something magical that emerges from the functioning of the brain. When you look at the colour blue, for example, your brain doesn’t generate a subjective experience of blue. Instead, it acts as a computational device. It computes a description, then attributes an experience of blue to itself. The process is all descriptions and conclusions and computations. Subjective experience, in the theory, is something like a myth that the brain tells itself. The brain *insists* that it has subjective experience because, when it accesses its inner data, it finds that information.”
Notes from Beijing: About That Chinese Social Contract – “The traditional Chinese social contract was not a compact between individuals and the state, but a compact between Chinese society as a whole and the state…. Self interested calculations of rational individuals coolly weighing their economic and political interests never really seemed to be part of the program.” – from t. greer.
Fragile and Dangerous – Men with Borderline Personality Disorder – from staffan.
Genomic Differences Found in Types of Cervical Cancer – “…the spectrum of cancer-related gene mutations in the two main subtypes of cervical cancer — adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. In tests on 80 cervical tumor samples, the investigators found high rates of mutations in two genes: PIK3CA and KRAS. While PIK3CA mutations appeared in both subtypes, KRAS mutations were found only in adenocarcinomas.”
US behavioural research studies skew positive – “US behavioural researchers have been handed a dubious distinction — they are more likely than their colleagues in other parts of the world to exaggerate findings, according to a study published today.”
Neolithic chefs spiced their food – “Mineral grains from garlic-mustard seeds found in 6,000-year-old cooking pots.” – mmmmmmm!
Denmark’s historic claim to the Faroes in doubt as archaeologists find proof that islands were inhabited before arrival of first Norse colonists – “Discovery indicates existence of sea-faring northern Europeans before Vikings.”
bonus: Birds know road speed limits – “Crows, house sparrows and other species judge when to flee the asphalt by average traffic rates rather than an oncoming car’s speed.”
bonus bonus: Beetles eat greedy offspring Edinburgh University research finds – “Burying beetles occasionally punish young who nag for food by eating those who pester them most…. It encourages the larvae to plead more honestly according to how hungry they are and not try to outdo their siblings by pestering their mother for food.” – so there!
bonus bonus bonus: Saudi Arabia’s War on Witchcraft – “A special unit of the religious police pursues magical crime aggressively, and the convicted face death sentences.”
bonus bonus bonus bonus: Bacteria can cause pain on their own – “Microbes caused discomfort in mice by activating nervous system, not immune response.”
bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Oldest globe to depict the New World may have been discovered
bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: An update to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
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